Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Thrift Store Scores & Second-Hand Finds


by Lee McKenzie

I am a bargain hunter. There, I said it. I don't shop a lot but when I do, I look for things I need and will use, and I am always on the lookout for a good deal. In the past two weeks, I've had an exceptional run of good luck at one of my favorite thrift stores and at private clothing sale put on by two women who work in theatre.

To start, here's what I scored at the thrift store:



Clockwise from top left:
 
White pottery mixing bowl     $4.00
Brass bird                                $3.99
Stainless steel spatula              $2.00
Multi-function cheese grater   Free!
Small white bowl                    $0.99
Vintage milk glass goblets      $3.00 for the pair
Total                                        $13.98

I am currently doing a major household declutter, so you might wonder why I would want any of the above. I recently tossed several mixing bowls that had cracks and chipped rims, so this one bowl in excellent condition is a great replacement. The small white bowl matches a set I already have (and I love the vintage-inspired look). The goblets are a nice addition to an existing set, the spatula is just plain practical, and the brass bird will be incorporated into a tablescape. The cheese grater satisfies my love of gadgetry, and did you notice the price? Free! I love that it has a fine and course attachment as well as a slicer. And did I mention it was free?

The clothing sale was a lot of fun, and I found some great pieces that will get lots of use.

Slouchy gray cowl-neck sweater ~ $4
Neckline detail
Daisy-print cardigan ~ $5
I love the vintage vibe of this little cardigan when I pair it with my black pencil skirt.

Silk paisley blouse ~ $6
Striped pullover ~ Free!
 
This pullover was in a bin of items marked $2 each, but the seller tossed it in at no charge.



 
Black and white sundress with a self belt ~ $10
This dress looks great with the tie belt, but I look forward to wearing it with other accessories. White, of course, but it'll also be great with red, turquoise or...?

Nine West cloche ~ $10
I really love hats and am delighted to add this one to my collection. And what do you think of my shabby chic hat stand? It's an upside-down coffee table leg!

And now I've saved my favorite find for last.

Vintage red fabric Kate Spade handbag ~ $15
And check out the inside of the bag.

Fun animal-print lining!
My thrift store buys came to a total of $13.98 and all the clothing was $50.00. Not a bad haul for $63.98. These are Canadian dollars, of course. Those of you in the US who love thrifting have probably found way better deals than these. If you have, please inspire us with the details! Or just post a quick hello, because this month I’m giving away this Emma by Jane Austin journal from Kate Spade, a copy of one of my backlist books and a few other goodies.


On Friday, February 26th, I’ll make a random drawing from the commenters on this post, and post the winner’s name here in the comments section that day and in next month’s edition of my monthly newsletter, Life in the Slow Lane.

Until next time, happy reading!

Lee
xoxo
To Catch a Wife (Harlequin Heartwarming, May 2016)
www.LeeMcKenzie.com

50 comments:

  1. I love seeing your finds, and I'm so jealous! Of course, I'm also too lazy to look...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, Liz! For me, thrifting is an adventure. I can't remember the last time I set foot in a shopping mall, though. I find the lights and the sounds completely overwhelming, and then I look at the price tags and think, "I could something similar at a thrift store for a fraction of the cost!"

      Delete
  2. Lee, I'm impressed. And that cardigan is like some I've recently seen in catalogues, so the flowered print ones are in style right now. I really don't like to shop so I tend to buy from catalogues. And of course I pay for shipping, so no bargains there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it might be a newish cardigan, Roz. The brand is Lord & Taylor, and it's super soft and comfy. I adore it!

      Delete
  3. Impressive bargain-finding skills! I especially love the daisy cardigan. Once my daughter moved away from home and started paying for her own clothes, she became quite a follower of thrift and consignment stores and Craig's list. I don't think she's ever found a designer bag for $15 though. Score.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Beth! My daughter went to the clothing sale with me and picked up a few great items as well. I think I've trained her well!

      Delete
  4. Being the purse lover that I am, I was drooling over the red Kate Spade. Nice find, Lee!
    I love bargain shopping too, and I never pay full price for anything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Kate Spade handbags, Jill. I have another one that I purchased at a consignment store and had to "embellish" it with black and white grosgrain ribbon. Everyone who sees it things the ribbon was part of the original design!

      Delete
  5. What wonderful finds, Lee! I enjoy thrift stores, too. It's like a treasure hunt every time you visit; you never know what you'll find!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true, Britney! I've learned to be picky, though, especially with clothing. I carefully go over everything, checking for ripped seams, stains, etc. And I'm not afraid to barter ;)

      Delete
  6. I think you did an excellent job on your thrift finds. I'm not a big shopper either, preferring to buy things that I'll use, with the occasional splurge for items I collect like teacups, teapots and bookish stuff. My go to place for collectibles is TJMaxx and Marshalls. I can buy these wonderful teacups made in England for less than $5. When I see them online they are selling for 4x that!! There's a little of anything you can think of in those stores. Of course I can't resist a nice journal or discounted book. Now that Heartwarming is in WalMart I make sure I take a trip every month to pick some up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Laurie! Your teacup collection sounds lovely. And thank you, thank you, thank you for buying our books. Heartwarming authors "heart" Heartwarming readers!

      Delete
  7. Lee, I love thrift shopping! Garage sales, yard sales, flea markets - I'm in! It's such a fun adventure. My sisters enjoy it too, as well as one of my close friends. So it makes a fun social outing, too! Love that black and white sundress, and especially the vintage glassware!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great finds, Lee! I love the thrifts, too, but haven't been lately. Too busy with other stuff. Every once in a while I need a fix, though, and have to stop in at the closest one, which is about a mile from my house. Mostly, I'm looking for decent frames for my art work, and for clothing, too. Such fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Linda! Do you use your frames as you find them, or do you paint/repurpose them?

      Delete
    2. I look for ones in good shape that I can use without refinishing. I don't find many, but when I do, it's a great bargain.

      Delete
  9. I love finding vintage pieces and taking my kids along is like a fun trip in history. I always find things that bring back childhood memories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too, Rula. My daughter and I love poking around in thrift stores and second-hand shops.

      Delete
  10. What terrific bargains, Lee! Of course I love the red Kate Spade bag. Wouldn't it be perfect with that black and white sundress for RWA/San Diego?? My best buy once was a pair of Banana Republic tailored black pants for $6. Perfect fit. I wore them until they were threadbare. I also love bowls, all kinds--don't know why but I just do. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that you mention it, Leigh, the dress and KS bag will be perfect for San Diego! I registered for the Literacy Signing this morning, and I'm really looking forward to the whole conference!

      Delete
  11. Interesting finds

    Bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And thanks for stopping by the blog today!

      Delete
  12. Lee, you have to come meet my neighbor! She loves Goodwill and finds the most amazing things! She's always decluttering, too, but recluttering also. Somehow her house always looks wonderful. I particularly love the daisy cardigan because I had one almost like that in my late teens. But I hate you that you can wear a pencil skirt! I could, too, but it'd have to be one of those giant pencils they make for arthritics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, Muriel! Have to say I love pencil skirts. I have several in different lengths and colors, but the black is my favorite. A wardrobe staple. As for recluttering, I try to adhere to the one in, one out rule. Right now I actually have one kitchen cupboard with an empty shelf!

      Delete
    2. Horrors! You have to fix that right away.

      Delete
  13. A woman after my own heart. I love thrift stores, although I don't often find clothes (odd size). I find clothes for my daughter, but then she'll only be in them for a few month before a growth spurt. I've found a lot of things to use in home decorating. I've had to refinish them, but the gratification of the finished product is so rewarding.

    Hate that Heartwarming doesn't want us to build, redecorate, or cook anything for the time being.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm right there with you, Shirley. Big fan of the DIY, and I love to "upcycle" second-hand items to use in my home.

      Delete
  14. I don't have a lot of luck at Thrift stores so I'm drooling over that red Kate Spade. I do find baskets which are really expensive in stores but a couple bucks--great for gift giving and storing odds and ends. --Sophia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sophia, thanks for the tip about baskets. I tend to overlook them, but not any more!

      Delete
  15. Great finds! I love finding "gadgets"!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gadgets are great! I only pick up the ones I know I'll use, and they're often just like new because someone had them and never used them!

      Delete
  16. Love all the treasures you found. I had my own find this last week when I went to purchase a watch at a "Pawn" store thinking I'd get a good deal (my husband broke his watch recently so was looking to replace it), but they were WAY more expensive than I'd planned on purchasing. However when I stopped at our local thrift store to purchase curtains for my husbands new shed, I found a watch for only $2.99 that looks way better than I saw at the "pawn" shop and it works great and even was a perfect match for the watch band of the watch he had broken. I LOVE thrift store shopping and go there quite often. I love your red bag though, what a great find!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing your story about the thrift store watch, Tressia! That was an amazingly good deal!

      Delete
  17. Such a fun post, Lee! Love the pictures.

    My guy and I have a tradition of going for coffee and to the thrift store in our small town every Saturday morning. This past weekend everything in the store was half price! I wonder sometimes about how crazy it is that two 50-somethings get so excited about 'deal day' at the thrift store!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think that's crazy at all, Donna, but then why would I? I watch for "deal days," too!

      Delete
  18. I love thrift stores. They are my first port of call for clothes and house-hold items. I save loads of money, the money I do spend goes to charity and most of the items are new or as good as.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The charity aspect is an important one for me, too, Mary. One of my favorite locally operated thrift stores supports women and children who are leaving abusive relationships, helps them find suitable accommodation, and sets them up with all the household and personal items they need to be independent.

      Delete
  19. Impressive! I love the goblets the best. They remind me of some I had during childhood :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pamela, I love those milk glass goblets, too. I now have a set of seven that I have picked up at various thrift shops over the past few years. I'll stop looking when I have a set of eight :)

      Delete
  20. I've never really done any thrift store shopping, but that Kate Spade bag (I particularly love the lining, for whatever reason lately I've really loved animal prints), and the cute black and white sundress, make me think I should give thrifting a try. You found some really great stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not for everyone, Summer, but who knows? If you find animal-print designer bag for a fraction of the cost of a new one, you might be hooked :)

      Delete
  21. I too am impressed, Lee! Well done!
    I live in Canada as well and I often hit the thrift stores. Picked up a small navy purse with detachable handle so I can use it as a wallet in my big purse too (from The Thrift Store) - $1.00.
    They had a BOGO free deal, so I got a 75-cent book for free at the same time.
    Bought a striped blouse for $1.00 - it was "Save 75% day" at Salvation Army!
    I will confess right here that sometimes I pick up used books at Value Village - 69 cents each with the fifth book free. That's my once-a-year treat - as I donate my unsold yard sale items (I'm up to 18 boxes at a time being donated now) to them and receive a 30% off coupon, so I get 30% off those books noted above - and anything else I scoop up while there.
    Yeah, I'm into decluttering and downsizing too, but if I have something broken, Value Village is my first stop. Why pay for new? Besides, MY dishes, etc. are old, so I won't get them anywhere else. (I host a potluck party every July and I set out real plates/cutlery for around 75 people, so I am constantly checking out Value Village for identical plates to my set - which they often have for 99-cents per big plate and 69-cents per smaller plate.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laney, I keep an eye on the deals at Salvation Army, too. I love that you use real dishes and cutlery for your potluck. Just thinking about how many bags of garbage full of paper plates and plastic cutlery you're NOT producing...it warms my heart! Kudos to you!

      Delete
  22. I've always wanted to go thrifting but have never gotten around to it. So I have no stories to share :( I think it's all about keeping an eye out though, I found a nice 1960 edition of a children's classic at my library for 50 cents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your storybook story! Thanks for sharing, and thanks for visiting the blog.

      Delete
  23. I love thrift store shopping, but this week I’m cleaning out and have the Salvation Army coming to pick up treasures for their thrift store. That will give me more room, and I can enjoy filling it with new items. Love your bargains.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Marion! I'm a lot like you...out with the old and in with the not-so-new!

      Delete
  24. Happy to announce, albeit somewhat belatedly, that the winner of this month's giveaway of an "Emma by Jane Austin" journal from Kate Spade, a copy of one of my backlist books and a few other goodies is...Tressia Avellar. Tressia, please drop by my website at www.LeeMcKenzie.com and send me an with your mailing address and I'll send you titles of the backlist books I have available.

    ReplyDelete